Maxima Comparison - Kia Cadenza Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Maxima Comparison

Just drove a 2014 base Nissan Maxima as a weekly rental.

Gotta say Nissan got the "steering feel" right. Much better road feel than we have. Suspension was sportier, road noise greater, ingress/egress, front and back, was awkward and difficult. The seats were more supportive, with larger side bolsters. Dash controls for heating/air were out of reach, the cruise control seemed to engage more consistently than the cruise on my Cadenza. The CVT was not as problemmatic as many have described. Never felt like it was hunting for the correct gear, and power was available when "kicked down." Off the line torque and acceleration were not as strong as on our Cadenza.

All in all it was a nice driving car. Just wish we had the better steering feel and the more supportive seats.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 09:50 AM
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Good review. Im not a fan of Nissan but the Maxima does feel afar from the likes of its other siblings like the Altima and others. I personally hate the feel of Altima as a car(personal taste). Feels hollow and too synthetic of a steering and ride... like they tried too hard with limited margin of funds. But the Maxima felt somewhere in the Infiniti level of luxury yet sporty. Steering feel on the Maxima is IMHO waaay better than the other nissan branded cars. Only thing that personally kept me away from the maxima tho is.. it felt to ME like it didnt know which route to go... luxurious or sporty. Maybe it wanted to be a little bit of both. But nonetheless i hope they dont discontinue that car as rumors say. It does have potential imo.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2014, 09:14 AM
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My last vehicle was a Nissan Rogue (SL AWD, not sure if that matters to the feel) and I have to say, the steering of it was really nice I have to say. The CVT in it was a little noisy but never had any problems with it. I liked the seats in it just fine as well but I have to say overall everything in my Cadenza is much better feeling except the steering. The ride was also more stiff in the Rogue, not really a plus or minus as I expect the Cadenza to absorb more impacts and feel softer as it is a more "premium" car. I think the pain is more durable on the Nissans as well.

2014 Kia Cadenza, Metallic Bronze and Beige, Lux Package

Leased 3/1/14
Purchased 1/28/17

Additions:
-Full Korean K re-badge
-Ultra Racing Performance front strut tower bar
-Racing sport pedals

Cadenza products available at: https://www.k5optimastore.com/collec...denza-products
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 07:14 PM
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I just traded a Maxima for my Cadenza. I think there are some pretty big differences in the overall fit and finish. When you close the doors on the Cadenza, they are much more "solid" than my Maxima was. I didn't mind the CVT and the Max will pull, but the transmission in the Cadenza is smoother. I personally like the Cadenza seat slightly better. You cannot get Adaptive Cruise on the Max which was a big downer for me on upgrading to a new Maxima. I like the ride better in the Cadenza and it is MUCH quieter, not even close on the noise factor. The Infinity is slightly better than the Bose, and the Nav and Voice Commands are much better IMHO on the Cadenza. The wife likes the Cadenza much better as well.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 07:59 AM
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All they do is make the steering feel tighter...it's not better, just requires a little more effort, so it has a "sporty" feel. The other thing Nissan does is engage a lot of engine breaking with the CVT; it give the allusion that the responsiveness is right there every time you go to touch the pedal. The issue I always had with mine was you couldn't coast well to save MPG's. Newer maxima's are rated around 26 on the highway, no better then older ones...if they would let the car coast more I would bet the mpgs would increase. substantially.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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So there must be a way (via programming) to tighten our steering, right? My service department says there is no option to do so on our cars. But the Optima has this option. Tighter would be better in my opinion.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 02:01 PM
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I don't see why...normal driving it's quite comfortable, yet responsive. Perhaps a little too responsive with little feedback, but that's what you expect from a luxury setup. That said, I've tackled a several turns where going into it I fully expected to be on the edge of the performance envelope; the steering and suspension worked extremely well together, far better then anticipated, as if the car transformed into a different animal. With stock tires I've been more then impressed...I can't wait to see this car with a better set of tires. All I'm saying is, why sacrifice comfort for a sporty "feel" when the car performs at least as good if not better then the Maxima, and all they are doing is cheating the senses.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 08:02 AM
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I think the '15 has options if I remember correctly. I do think the steering is a bit loose and would like for it to be tightened but it's not BAD the way it is, just not really... great. I loved the steering feel of my Rogue. I love the luxury feel of the Cadenza but would like a sportier feel in the steering.

2014 Kia Cadenza, Metallic Bronze and Beige, Lux Package

Leased 3/1/14
Purchased 1/28/17

Additions:
-Full Korean K re-badge
-Ultra Racing Performance front strut tower bar
-Racing sport pedals

Cadenza products available at: https://www.k5optimastore.com/collec...denza-products
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2015, 02:14 PM
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I've owned many Maxima's over the years. It has changed a bit since the original 90's tag line of the "4 Door Sports Car." In the early days it started as a rear driver and later became a front driver that was only made in Japan with an independant rear suspension. Then it was de-contented to a solid rear beam axel with a link like in Chrysler K cars. This version was also re-branded as an Infiniti I30.

Since the mid-2000s; the Maxima production moved to Tennessee along with the Altima. The current Maxima is essentially a V6 Altima. Not a bad thing, but its no longer a unique product line for Nissan. More profit but less of a unique car. I still like it, but not at current pricing; once you load to comparable Cadenza levels Maxima becomes a very pricey Altima.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 10:43 AM
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I know it may sound crazy but between my wife and I we have had about 6 cars over the last 2 years. Just can find the feel or the luxury that I was looking for within the large full sized car marKet. Had started in the mid sized with malibu and fusion...not impressed. Moved on to the full size taurus (nice interior, tons of tech features and cargo but the ride and stereo were blah and price was expensive to get everything you want), Charger R/T nice looking vehicle and fast but the electrical system and charging system kept failing and they let me return it instead of filing a lemon law claim. Looked at the impala but didn't work for me interior to me was cheap and the car just wasn't luxurious at all. Went to look at the Optima SXL and saw the Cadenza. Blew me away. I drove it and loved it but then decided that was going to be the car to beat. Went o. To look at acura, bmw, and audi. In the end the Cadenza beat them all. Smooth, quiet, full of all the amenities, good price, and best warranty. I bought mine so the warranty is huge. Everyone else I would of had to pay more for the extended warranty. To conclude, everyone loves it, many questions on what car it is, many people disappointed they bought the competition without looking at the Cadenza, and the best thing is that it is unique bc I don't see many. I love everything about it and never so proud of myself in making such an educated buy , lol.
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